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News : Distress, Infidelity Calls Flood 181 Helpline
Ahmedabad, India, Aug 12, 2015 -- Neeta Makwana (name changed), 35, a resident of Vadaj, called up 181 Abhayam helpline earlier this month to get help about her husband's philandering ways.
She narrated that the extramarital affair has resulted in mental and physical harassment for her and their children. Counsellors approached the family and tried to talk to the husband. When things did not improve, they helped the woman register a case with the city police.
In August, the 181 Abhayam women helpline service completed 50,000 calls at an average of 114 everyday. While the helpline was launched on pilot basis in Ahmedabad, Surat and Gandhinagar in February 2014, its state-wide launch took place in March 2015.
Narendrasinh Gohil, Abhayam helpline coordinator, said that the nature of calls provide a peek into society.
"In the past one and a half years, we have got calls from almost all quarters irrespective of age, gender, social and economic status, and education - providing a snapshot of social issues. Domestic issues, including marital discord, beating, mental and physical harassment and violence, form over 30 per cent of the total cases. Other cases include extramarital affairs, distress and legal issues," he said.
Officials said that extramarital affairs today form almost 15 per cent of the cases that lead to other issues such as harassment and violence. The helpline has addressed issues like child marriage, stress due to exams, legal rights of women and eviction of elderly from their homes, among others.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Thursday, August 13, 2015